The Foreman April 8, 2013Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
His voice is a holler, or better spelled a hollah: the flat, chesty, uninflected trumpet that carries between mountains and across battlefields. The attack is moderately steep, allowing each word or phrase to build to the correct crescendo to carry over the sounds of front loaders dumping metal girders in a crash and to reach the roustabouts perched atop the framework leading guide ropes to pull up the tent tops. Long before the first sound check of Jazz Fest the sound is idling and roaring diesels, the back-up warning and crash of cargo, the hollering of men over their machines to orchestrate the erection of the tents. They work with the urgency of a crew of SeaBees erecting a desperate bridge. I imagine one could hold this job with a megaphone, but I think it would diminish the foreman’s authority as king of the roustabouts. Like a drill sergeant or a lion tamer, a good set of lungs is an essential job requirement, the ability to command by tone and volume.